First, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!
As we start a new year, I’d like to reflect on some of the projects that mayor and council have accomplished during 2019 as a team. We took time in March to establish a City Strategic Plan to capture our vision and goals for serving the City, how to accomplish them and put budget money behind our efforts.
To begin, the Wastewater Expansion Project commenced in 2015. Through coordination with Public Works and Finance, funding was found and brought before the City Council for approval. This project was basically complete at the end of the year with expected finalization in February 2020. This project is now complete and we have enough capacity for current and future residents and businesses as we annex and grow.
Another achievement we realized this last year was the installation of the All-Inclusive Playground at Veteran’s Memorial Park. The All-Inclusive Playground was built with the use of CDBG (Community Development Building Grant) funds through planning of Leisure Services and Housing staff with the help of Triple M Recreation. Funds that were originally intended to go into a community center but delayed due to outside factors have been re-allocated towards improvements at the Veterans Memorial Park to include: shade for the all-inclusive playground area, a new swimming pool pump, and LED lighting along pathways within the park.
Additionally, the Douglas Public Library began a WiFi Extension project and funded through a grant the city applied for. Come check out one of the hotspot devices for use anywhere around the city.
Three years of Streets Projects were completed this year after years of holding funds for street improvements. A list of streets was compiled and prioritized in 2017 with final phase completed in 2019, resulting in improved road conditions. During this project new LED street light were installed which provides more safety and better lighting at night.
With only about 80 days until the Census opens, it’s important that you know how important it is for you to be counted to bring our federal and state taxes back into our community. We are already undercounted by about one-third of our population. With each of the 4,000 or so undercounted residents representing between $850 in state dollars and another $1,000 per individual, our City loses between $3.4 million to $7.6 million each year! Your participation is critical. Registering to be counted online is simple and convenient. We will have computers available at the library, community churches and locations around the city. For information, please contact Xenia Gonzalez at (520) 417-7388.
Lastly, in my commitment to continue to communicate with our residents and hold regular Town Hall meetings, I would like to invite you to our next Town Hall being sponsored by Donnie Huish, Ward 3, Ray Shelton, Ward 5, and me on Tuesday, January 28 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. This Town Hall is open to all our constituents and citizens of Douglas.
Please join us — we are looking forward to seeing you there.